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Randall Cobb chooses title contention over cash

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Players should not be faulted for taking the money, but they should be praised when they prioritize winning.

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Some fans may not think of it this way, but it is not indicative of a character flaw when athletes take the highest-paying deal on the table. Careers in sports are finite, and players should not be faulted for maximizing their earnings.

At the same time, when an athlete foregoes a bigger payday in favor of a better opportunity to contend for a championship, the praise from fans is well deserved.

Such is the case with Randall Cobb, who left significantly more money on the table to remain with the Green Bay Packers. What's more, he did so after fielding offers from as many as seven teams. Though some of the teams connected to him have questionable quarterback situations, others, like the San Diego Chargers, could have provided the receiver with a quality signal caller. So while the presence of Aaron Rodgers certainly aided the Packers' chances, Cobb chose to stay for other reasons as well. Namely, the best chance to win a championship next season.

And that's what makes this development so remarkable. Rare is it that a player reaches this stage of free agency, sees the more lucrative offers on the table, and decides to return anyway. Surely, agent Jimmy Sexton, a player rep known for generating and capitalizing on favorable markets for his clients, presented Cobb with a strong argument for taking a larger deal elsewhere. Had he done so, no one reasonably could have blamed the wideout for maximizing his worth. In the end however, Cobb determined that the best deal wasn't necessarily the biggest, but rather the one that allowed him to remain in a comfortable, winning environment.

With their receiving corps now in place, the Packers find themselves well positioned for a title run in 2015. As Cobb's actions indicate, that had as much to do with his decision as anything else.

Jason B. Hirschhorn covers the Green Bay Packers for Acme Packing Company. He also serves as an SB Nation newsdesk contributor and NFL writer for Sports on Earth.